When did you graduate from CMI?
Where are you and what are you doing now?
Since graduating, I’ve been on back to back projects so I am taking a very short but very necessary break here in Las Cruces. I am gearing up to start shooting my next show.
What do you like most about what you’re doing?
The opportunity to travel and to shoot on location. My goal is to work in New Mexico as much as possible, but it’s exciting to see other parts of the country and the world. My last job took me to Alameda, CA to shoot on an air craft carrier and that’s been the highlight of my career.
What are some projects/jobs that you’ve worked on since graduating?
I just got back from shooting a tv pilot in L.A. called “Behind Enemy Lines”, its based on the film of the same name. We are hoping it gets picked up for a full season on Fox. I’ve also worked on “The Last Tycoon” for Amazon, “Godless” for Netflix, “Hell or High Water” and a few other films including “Captain Fantastic” which was shot right here in Las Cruces.
Not to be biased, but every single class at CMI is valuable. The film industry is full of personalities and you must have a certain finesse when dealing with so many creative types. Being thrown into everyone else’s short film, senior project, MCP, directing final, etc while at CMI really helped in developing my “people skills”. The most significant learning experience was shooting the CMI feature film “The Heart Out Right” (now playing at the Fountain Theatre). It was my first opportunity to really apply everything I had learned on a large-scale. I felt very lost and overwhelmed at first, but all the professors and industry professionals that participated really helped me navigate such a big set. I came into my own as an Assistant Director on “The Heart Outright” and I think that every student should work on a feature film before graduating.
What are you doing when you aren’t working?
When you’re on set, you’re working an average of 60-80 hours a week, it’s truly consuming and exhausting. If I am not working, then I do as little as humanly possible. I catch up on sleep and quality time with my dogs and family.
What’s some advice you would give a CMI student (or maybe potential CMI student) about their time at CMI?
Say yes to every opportunity and work with absolutely everyone. When you’re on the set of a full blown production, you spend 12-18 hours a day working very closely with every department. You’ve got to get really good at working with others and you have to at least have a basic understanding of what each department does, so try everything. Even though you already know that you want to be a DP, you should still know a little something about the makeup dept and what the “greens guy” really does.
All of the films I’ve worked on can be found either on Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime or DVD/Blue Ray. “Godless” will be released on Netflix later this year (2017). And if “Behind Enemy Lines” gets picked up then you’ll be able to catch that on the Fox TV Network. You can find a list of all of my projects on IMDb.
Anything else you’d like to say?
You never know where an opportunity will take you so don’t turn down a job just because it’s not what you thought you’d be doing. Once you get your foot in the door, many more doors will open and you never know which one of those will land you your dream job.
Thank you, Beatriz, for sharing your experiences and advice!